I’m proud to share Ventana Research’s 2023 Market Agenda for Digital Technology. Our focus in this agenda is to deliver expertise to help organizations prioritize technology investments that improve customer, partner and workforce experiences while also increasing organizational effectiveness and agility.
Digital technology is a business necessity, as demonstrated throughout the pandemic. It enables organizations to operate in the channels and with the speed and flexibility that customers have come to expect. In 2020, many organizations were not prepared to operate digitally. The lesson learned is that, even though significant digital transformation efforts have occurred over the last five-plus years, it is necessary to refine these efforts, ensuring an effective digital strategy that enables organizations to compete for and retain customers now and into the future.
Our 2023 market agenda focuses on critical areas of digital technology, using insights and best practices to help organizations ensure optimal outcomes. We continue to track computing as a focus, since the complexities in managing applications and systems across the computing environment have introduced new challenges. In addition, the convergence of collaborative and conversational technologies supports a new generation of digital technology for enterprises. We assert that by 2026, more than one-half of organizations will have invested in newly formed digital platforms to unify collaborative and conversational technology and simplify the work experience.
Digital technology helps organizations gain intelligence and launch automation that ensures ongoing levels of effectiveness for the overall business and within specific processes. Our Digital Technology expertise includes nine focus areas: Analytics and Data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, Collaborative and Conversational Computing, the Internet of Things, Mobile Computing, Robotic Automation and Extended Reality.
Analytics and Data
Today, every aspect of business relies on analytics and data. Organizations use analytics to apply AI/ML to all types of data, generating information and insights necessary to improve outcomes. Our agenda reflects the technology required to achieve this objective and provide data integration - the preparation and processing of data for analytic and operational use. We will also focus on business intelligence-based processes that generate visualization along with important insights across lines of business and IT.
For 2023, we will further explore the need to embed analytics and ensure collaboration and availability across mobile technology. Also high on our list is natural language generation from data and analytics as well as the process for simplifying data access and presentation through human and machine-level interactions. Our Benchmark Research and Value Index will identify best practices and assess and rate vendors’ potential to help ensure the right technology is used to provide effective organizational agility.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
AI/ML enables the processing of data much the way humans do: providing a context to refine how organizations operate in any activity. Our agenda reflects our work to assess organizations’ use of AI/ML through market research designed to help guide technology and processes necessary for ethical operations. I assert that through 2025, one-half of organizations will realize that AI competencies and skills are insufficient and require new investments to avoid being at a competitive disadvantage. We will also examine the impact of ML- and AI-guided actions and tasks. Anyone can participate in our Dynamic Insights market research on ML that focuses on best practices in the successful deployment of AI/ML.
A shared database of assets stored in multiple locations of an inter-enterprise network can pose challenges to processing and utilizing the data for a range of digital requirements in operations and analytics. Understanding blockchain-distributed ledger technology is essential to help organizations more effectively operate across systems. Our market agenda is designed to assess the value of technologies that interconnect and secure data across systems and organizations to enable both secure and efficient processing.
Our examination of blockchain processing across finance and the supply chain continues to help organizations optimize transactions. The effective application of data governance using enterprise-class integration methods and technologies is necessary to maintain data quality standards. We assert that by 2025, one-third of organizations will adopt blockchain for secure, distributed computing across business processes to realize efficient and effective governance of digital business.
We will continue our market research on blockchain technology to determine how the technology is currently being used. In particular, we will examine how organizations effectively use blockchain technology to address gaps and opportunities in business processes and optimize operations across the enterprise and extended network of constituents.
Organizations continue to migrate toward computing technology operating outside of the traditional data center or internally managed servers. Our focus on cloud computing is intended to guide organizations on the use of applications and systems functioning across private and public technology environments. Through 2025, one-fifth of organizations will consolidate public cloud computing platforms to a single provider to redirect resource costs and efforts from infrastructure to the value derived from them.
Unlike decades past, today’s challenge is managing the operation of applications and systems across noncorporate-owned environments that may require enhanced governance of service-level agreements necessary for reliability and security. With potentially dozens of providers, an organization may find it necessary to integrate and adapt applications to broader, enterprise-level requirements to achieve workflow and efficiency as well as further customize for competitive differentiation. Our research will examine how the portfolio of digital technologies in this area of expertise operate across cloud computing as well as the applications that are part of the entire enterprise.
Collaborative and Conversational Computing
Our market agenda in organization-wide collaboration and conversation involves technology-mediated digital engagement using natural language, across the workforce and beyond. This focused digital computing uses unified communication to enable interactions through text, video and voice to adapt to how people work.
The use of mobile technology plays a key role in enabling real-time interactions that expedite agility and responsiveness. We assert that by 2025, one-quarter of organizations will have deployed conversational experiences from mobile and desktop environments to work experiences with technology designed to increase productivity.
Real-time and recorded video deliver a human connection for collaboration, connecting any number of parties to explore an issue or opportunity. The advancement of intelligent virtual agents that are infused with AI/ML have introduced new opportunities for extending the potential of the workforce and ensure they maximize high-value skills. Our market research will continue to evaluate and guide organizations’ needs, plans and attitudes on collaborative and conversational computing technology to ensure effective interactions between people and machines.
The Internet of Things
Innovative organizations are embracing a new, intelligent approach to the efficiency of automation as well as the broader digital business opportunity that comes from the use of data in motion. The internet of things spans computing that crosses devices and sensors to transmit data through events and messages, enabling services and unlocking new computing and monetization opportunities. Through 2025, one-half of organizations using IoT technology will rely on real-time events and messages that stream to cloud-based data warehouses or data lake environments to increase operational insights.
Event and messaging technologies that broadcast and stream are now making it possible to more continuously operate these technologies to support a broader agenda - from sustainability to business continuity objectives and business processes. Using machine and sensor data delivered in real time by IoT devices makes it possible to monitor and adjust both machine and workforce operations and intelligently respond to situations that require action. Our continuous Benchmark Research on IoT identifies and reports on trends and best practices in using the technology for any organizational purpose.
The simplification of mobile technology has not translated to innovation or advancement in operational software, leading to dissatisfaction from organizations with high levels of expectation. Our focus on mobile computing examines organizational use of smartphones, tablets and wearables to connect workers to applications and information. We also explore the disconnect between expected levels of digital business and responsiveness from these devices.
In many cases, our research to date has found that user experiences via mobile devices have not facilitated the engagement found in consumer applications. We assert that through 2025, two-thirds of organizations will conclude that mobile business applications are ineffective for the workforce, requiring replacement to gain business effectiveness.
Our agenda will help organizations root out and eliminate vendors with products that lack mobile technology functionality for ease of access and interaction for the worker and manager. Our continuous market research on the use of mobile computing technology - as well as organizations’ needs and attitudes - will bring best practices and guidance for making smarter decisions regarding vendor offerings.
For many organizations, the disparate operation of applications that support processes must be augmented to enable automation - and hopefully intelligence - for increased efficiency in digital business. Our focus on robotic automation will assess the technology that orchestrates the workflow of messages and transactions supporting activities and tasks, but also needs to balance the workload of resources across the organization. We assert that by 2025, over two-thirds of organizations will standardize to a single digital platform for intelligent workflow management and will deploy robotic process automation to eliminate redundant manual work.
Advancements in robotic process automation have evolved to facilitate next-level operational effectiveness in business and IT processes. Our goal is to help organizations prioritize the technology and vendors supporting people and systems that operate across cloud-computing environments. Our continuous market research will examine how automation and intelligence are best instrumented to meet both front- and back-office requirements for workflow and workloads across the enterprise.
Advancements in extended reality continue to exploit dedicated technology in mobile computing – including wearables – to operate in a virtualized environment. This can increase efficiency, addressing the gamut of exploration and improvements.
Our XR expertise focuses on technology that operates individually and combines augmented, mixed and virtual environments for better experiences. We assert that by 2025, one-third of organizations will adopt XR technologies that augment and virtualize customer and product experiences for effective work engagement.
As organizations study methods to service physical assets from remote locations and devices, the opportunity for digital innovation will come from suppliers and organizations working toward a common resolution. Our continuous market research will identify the rapidly evolving best practices in the use of XR across marketing, sales and service that enable efficient operations and engagement with customers and the supply chain.
Improving the digital experience across the workforce as well as for customers, partners and the overall supply chain has become a business imperative for 2023. Enhancements to the digital workflows of processes and activities can improve organizational readiness to support the objectives and intentions of everyone in the workforce.
Optimizing the path forward in 2023 will require a heightened sense of the purpose and operation of digital technology as well as an understanding of expected outcomes for enabling business continuity and performance. Establishing a priority focus for digital technology investments will ensure appropriate rewards for the time and resources dedicated to this necessity.
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